Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel
Located in the most storied room in Victoria, Q at the Empress is a must-visit culinary celebration that is second to none. This atmospheric space has a distinctly modern, contemporary feel, all the while staying true to the building’s unique iconic heritage with its dark cherry wood ceilings and spectacularly detailed moldings. Focusing on regional ingredients, the carefully curated menu features locally sourced seafood, meats and produce prepared surely and skillfully by Chef Morgan Wilson and his incredible team. Try one of over 850 bottles of wines from the temperature controlled visible wine wall featuring the best of the Pacific North West and select vintages from all over the globe. From romantic dinner to vibrant social event all you need to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy Q at the Empress, the place to be on Vancouver Island.
Everything was swell eating at the Empress, but would have appreciated knowing there was three separate dining areas. Was sent to the brunch area without question. Would have preferred knowing that the lunch menu was also being served.
Q is a very nice place to eat if you want an elegant setting that is a break from noise and crowds. Service was excellent without being stuffy. Food was uniquely prepared and very good, although I sometimes wished for simpler renderings of some dishes. For example, the rabbit tasted intense, perhaps because it was brined. Delicious but I would have enjoyed a more traditional take on rabbit braised in wine. The chocolate mousse dessert ranks among the best I have ever had...a must.
Q at the Empress is more then a hotel restaurant. Oysters were tasty. The burrata was so-so. The prime rib was as good as any. Sides were a little weak. Service was outstanding. The wiatress was very patient with a large group.
Prime rib carvery cart was reminiscent of the Sunday supper we had when I was a lad
Insanely perfect - everything. Food Was incredible, service was impeccable, Setting was gorgeous and comfortable. This exceeded all expectations, and was one of the finest dining experiences we’ve had in years. Thank you to our servers Will and Emily - and manager Maeve - for a truly memorable experience!!
Excellent fine dining food coupled with good service but a bit noisy as it is part of a public area, makes this a good relax evening for cocktail and dinner. Price is reasonable but not cheap.
Wine, appetizers, entries and desserts were excellent.
Service was timely, professional and friendly.
Pricey but a good memory.
Menu uses exotic ingredients and is not so easy to follow but waiter does explain and
answer questions. Food was very good but as this dinner was included in our tour it is hard to
know value versus price. Portions were reasonable ; not too small and not too large.
My mom and I were at Q at the Empress for her birthday recently. Our server, Maddie, was delightful ~ very kind and very professional. She addressed me formally each time she approached our table. The food was the best I've eaten in a long time ~ my mom said the same of hers. The ambiance was perfect, the live music was just the right volume. I have nothing negative to say about our experience at the Q. I would recommend it in a heartbeat.
Love the history and ambience of this restaurant. The menu choices were wonderful and filled with seasonal offerings that were delicious. Service was very slow for a Sunday evening with a lot of open tables and even when we prefaced that we had a hard stop 2 hours after our reservation time. However our server was very nice and knowledgeable.
Erin was a won’t hostess
Maddie took great care of us
Chef Ken Hookem was at our table twice
My son an I were very impressed
We liked the atmosphere
And the food was really good
Service is awesome
The server Will was awesome and amazing
We didn’t like our table location, it was close to restaurant and the noise if the kitchen was hi
Maddie our server was spectacular!
Excellent, as we expected and probably better that expectations. We were fortunate to be there on a sunday for table-side, chef carved lamb leg. It was amazing. It was also spot prawn season so we took advantage of that too. Great experience, great food.
Chirashi bowl was excellent, except a bit on the salty side.
The appetizers were over priced and disappointing. The seafood was not fresh and the portions were small
We had dinner at The Q on the first night of our honeymoon and it was exceptional! The food, ambiance, decor, and service exceeded our expectations and set the bar very high for the other restaurants we plan to visit.
It was a lovely location and great setting. The food was good but the steak was not cooked as requested. Also, we booked for our Anniversary and felt more could have been done to make it special. We have basic seating even though we reserved the restaurant a few days before with notes on our anniversary.
We loved the food and the service was excellent; however, we did not enjoy the live music at all. It was much too loud and the genre didn’t suit the atmosphere of the restaurant.
We came in for drinks and dessert to celebrate my sister’s birthday and were treated so well by our server, Adam. We loved the chocolate hazelnut pie! It was delicious the candied hazelnuts were excellent. Also tried the famous gin and tonic made with the mesmerizing purple Empress gin and quite enjoyed that as well. Will definitely be back to sit in the bar, try more of the drinks and enjoy the live music.
Great flavorful food offerings. Staff worked well together with attention to the customer. Classic and creative drink menu with distilled Gin specifically made for the Empress.
Thank you to John for the lovely personalized service!!
I recently went to the Q at The Empress with my mom, for Mother's Day, and the service was outstanding. Not only that, but the smaller details that were included were wonderful. We had items on their brunch menu, and we both really enjoyed our choices. Flavorful, delicious, and well presented. The server we had even did a little white chocolate banner for my mom's birthday that was later in the week.
Thank you to the staff, for making our brunch a wonderful and relaxing experience.
We had brunch at the Q on Mother's Day. Our server, Sybil, was outstanding. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal and the restaurant.
We enjoyed the best anniversary dinner thanks to Q at The Empress. Our servicer was absolutely outstanding! He requested the chef for additional pistachio moss from the delicious beet salad for us because we were fascinated by them. Everything was perfect for our special 10 year celebration. The gorgeous space, fun live music, a magnificent tenderloin, a scrumptious halibut and even an Empress cake gifted to us for the occasion. Thank you so kindly for making us feel so special! This was an evening we will not forget.
Food was good. Pricey for what you get, typical of Fairmont. Service was good, albeit a bit rushed. Noisy, very noisy next to the bar.
Dinner at the Q was probably one of the best dining experiences I have had. Magical atmosphere, great service, and unparalleled cuisine.
A friend and I went to the Q at The Empress for brunch, and it was extremely enjoyably. The atmosphere was calm, where was only one other family eating at the same time. I assume it’s is because everyone else goes for high tea. The food is very affordable, the plating was tremendously beautiful and taste was up perfect. We will definitely be returning.
My husband and I love Victoria and The Empress. It’s where we got engaged in 2017 and where we decided to hold our (very small) nuptial ceremony. We brought our officiant and witnesses to dinner at The Q, and had planned to wed at the dinner table, but when the restaurant found out what we had planned, they went way out of their way to make the night so special for us. Not only did they reserve us a lovely secluded table by the fireplace, but they let us marry in the Royal Suite at the hotel (which was BEAUTIFUL!). The food, drinks, and dessert were all incredible. All of the servers and staff were so kind and thoughtful. They even comped our bottle of champagne at the end of the night.
All in all it was a truly unforgettable experience! I will always recommend the Q and the Empress to anyone visiting Victoria.
Background: I'm a winemaker and former chef de partie and my dining companion was a Red Seal chef and a Pastry Chef with 50 years of service. We have been going to the Empress for forty years together, celebrating family events and personal trips in a wonderful style.
The recent renovations haven't bettered the place. The loss of the Bengal Room is a terrible one, and the current bar is uncomfortable and uninviting.
But our meal at Q was _dreadful_.
The waitstaff and management were more than accommodating, and did a textbook job to mitigate the situation, both our waitress and the manager on duty could not have been more professional.
The issue is that not only is the menu at Q very ill-conceived, it was executed very poorly.
The chicken liver pate was a mousse, and actually fairly nice. But it was served on a roofing tile, not a plate. This may be an aesthetic choice, but slate tiles are irregular and fissured. Not only was it hard to eat from, the mousse was in the cracks of the tile and getting 100% of it out during cleaning would be impractical, which left us uneasy.
The short rib was served as a whole strip of rib, and not cut into manageable pieces. It was also curiously free of bison flavour, and surprisingly had more fat than meat by percentage, and was stringy and tough. It was served with a curious assortment of un-dressed/unseasoned steamed vegetables (carrots, green beans and zucchini) more suited to a steam table than fine dining. The blue corn polenta was awful, tasting of wax crayons and nothing else.
The pork hock was advertised as brined and slow-cooked. It most resembled a smoked pork hock available from local butchers more suited to soupmaking than an entree. It was salty, as such hocks are and while it was tender, it was difficult to eat because the only flavour was sodium chloride. The tagliatelle served with it was dry and rubbery and not prepared fresh.
There was no pleasure in any of the food.
This is such a classy resturant that the anbiance makes you fell good. Good news, food is good too. We had brunch and food was enjoyable. Don't miss out on coctails
Great food and great service at a classic Victoria location.
This is the bar area near the tea room. It is certainly a restaurant, but it is not the main dining room. We ended up here by mistake for Easter Brunch, but it ended up being a great experience. Recommend.
We had an amazing time at the Q. I was celebrating my birthday and everything was great. Raymond our server was patient and had awesome customer service. The ambience is breathtaking, the food was delicious, we will definitely be back 🤗
A colleague highly recommended the Q so I went to entertain out-of-country visitors.
I did not find high value considering the price and the following findings:
- There were some crumbs on the chair when we were seated.
- The black granite table top still had some water streaks on them - no white linen tops.
- Was given one of those disposable chopsticks wrapped in paper similar to what you find from fast food places. Let's limit the waste by doing small things like offering re-usable cutleries instead of disposable ones. This also cheaps out the restaurant.
- The food was good but not great as one might expect from an Empress dining place.
The welcome and hosting were excellent.
I was disappointed that our table for 8 was not a round table so that we could all visit. We are not all from Victoria. Otherwise my husband enjoyed his bday dinner there.
Food was delicious and our server, Guy was fantastic! One of our party ordered duck confit and it was overcooked. That's why 4 stars instead of 5.
Really nice place, but overall, not worth it in terms of pricing
Again, The Q was absolutely on point. The service was welcoming like coming home to family. The food kept you wanting more, like plot twists that keep you on the edge of your seat! I was full but found myself wanting more, like replaying a classic movie you just can’t get enough of... my steak was 8 ounces of bliss, with every bite making you pause like a work of art that takes your breath away! Please.... if you are in town, go visit The Q. Tell em Carson sent ya... you will thank me later! With a full restaurant and bar, the sounds of live entertainment will make you feel right at home...